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Monday, January 17, 2011

Pitchfork BNM's Dirty Beaches Sweet 17 track

Dirty Beaches Badlands LP is out 3/29 on Zoo Music

   It was fantastic to see Pitchfork name Dirty Beaches' Sweet 17 Best New Music on Friday.  Sweet 17 is featured on his forthcoming LP, Badlands, which is being released on the San Diego based record label run by Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles and Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls.

    When an Artist gets Best New Music for a track, rather then an album, two possible scenarios suggest themselves.  An album review that also gets Best New Music, confirming the earlier selection.  An album review, that does not get Best New Music.  Obviously, it's in the Artists best interest to obtain the Best New Music designation for the album, but that is entirely outside the control of the Artist.

    There are also secondary effects, the successful harnessing of which require ancillary personnel.  For example, the services of a public relations professional are especially crucial AFTER such a designation occurs.  Additionally, the so-designated artist can expect an increase of attention from entities like: booking agents, record labels and management.  It should be noted, that every opportunity has two potential results, an artist can choose wisely or poorly, and those decisions will shape the future ability of an artist to compete in the market place.

   A significant time interval in this regard is the period between a track becoming Best New Music and the review of the resulting album.  An artist who receives a Best New Music for the album is in a superior bargaining position with any interested entity, whereas a failure to achieve that puts the Artist in an inferior position.  The Artist can also use that time interval to perform live in different markets and reap the rewards (or penalties) of those live performances.  The main thing with a wind fall is to recognize it as something which may not repeat itself due to your hard work: that's the definition of a wind fall, economically speaking.

    Ultimately, the Best New Music designation is what economists would term a windfall gain.  I can't actually find a good definition od this term in the way I want to use it, but I would define it as, "An external stimulus to the level of interest in a specific artist."  Such stimulus' are unrelated to rational economic or artistic activity.  Thus, their occurrence should be accepted but not glorified.  Glorifying a windfall gain is like erecting a temple to yourself because you won 100 million in the lottery: kind of gross.

   Above all, an Artist facing an increased level of attention needs to realize that audiences crave novelty either from the same Artist or a new/different Artist and that every time you do something, it impacts the way the prospective audience perceives you.

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